The Skills Challenge and Three-Point Contest will come before the All-Star Game tips off. The Slam Dunk Contest will occur at halftime.
"As part of this year's events, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced that they will commit more than $2.5 million in funds and resources toward Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and support and awareness around equity and access to COVID-19 care, relief and vaccines," the NBA said.
The player draft is returning as the top vote-getters in each conference will select his squad. The Final Target Score is back, too, after having received acclaim in 2020:
Many believed the Final Target Score helped create a competitive, dramatic fourth quarter as Team LeBron edged out Team Giannis.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Feb. 4 the NBA and NBPA were nearing an agreement on the details for this year's All-Star weekend. However, Wojnarowski added the plan "has been met with resistance and skepticism from players and from team executives."
Some prominent players expressed their frustration with staging the game:
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also called the 2021 All-Star Game a "made-for-TV event only" and cautioned fans against traveling to the city:
Chenue Her @ChenueHer
JUST IN: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shares her concerns about the city hosting the NBA All-Star game. She says people should *not* travel to ATL. “...we strongly encourage promoters, clubs, bars, etc. not to host events in the city related to this game.” @11AliveNews https://t.co/kCAPTfXcch
The NBA said Thursday it's setting up a "mini bubble" and will arrange for private travel to and from Atlanta for the players taking part.
The Athletic's Sam Amick reported earlier this month the league was tentatively planning to have players and coaches arrive on the day of the All-Star festivities. They would leave the following day.